Kwanzaa is a Pan-African holiday celebrated for seven days, December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa, a Swahili word for fruits of harvest, is a celebration of African heritage, tradition and the core principles to make the Black family and community strong.
Each day of Kwanzaa a different principle, or nguzo saba, is observed - Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).
Celebrating Kwanzaa can be as big or as modest as you choose. If Kwanzaa sneaked up on you and you don’t have all the gear to celebrate, you still can have a wonderful Kwanzaa with you family by implementing these easy tips.
1. Patronize a Black-owned business
Take your children to a Black-owned business to shop. You can also find Black businesses online to shop. While selecting your business, explain to your children the importance of circulating the Black dollar. You may even evaluate services or products that you regularly purchase and see what can be switched to a Black business. It is possible to itemize all the services providers and stores that you patronize and switch to Black-owned, one by one.
The simple gesture of taking your children to buy Black and explaining to them along the way will make a powerful impact on their view of community, self-determination and Ujamaa (cooperative economics).
2. Make homemade gifts and cards
Kuumba is all about creativity and innovation. Get your creative energy flowing by breaking out your crafting supplies and making gifts and cards for your family and friends. Some fun and easy ideas include homemade bath and body products, jewelry, bookmarks, picture frames, decorated pots for plants or household items and so much more. Handmade gifts and cards come from the heart. This shows children that you can create, and you don’t only have to be a consumer.
3. Eat a healthy meal together
Kwanzaa concludes on January 1 with a Karamu feast. This feast includes healthy soul food to nourish the body, mind and Spirit. You can have a potluck with a few other families, find a Karamu feast in your community to attend, or cook and eat with your family.
Nothing keeps the family strong like breaking bread together over a delicious healthy meal. Be sure to keep electronics and the t.v. at bay. Screens keep us separated even under the same roof. Take this time to talk with each other. Maybe play some board games after the meal to continue the fellowship.
4. Remember your Ancestors
In order to know our Nia (purpose) and to have Imani (faith), it’s imperative that we honor our Ancestors. If you have photos or obituaries of your deceased family members, now is a good time to bring them out and remember the good times.
Meditate on what your Ancestors sacrificed for you and what they expect for you to do on the Earth now to make a better future for your children. Children need opportunities to learn about their Ancestors. If you don’t have a Sacred space in your home dedicated to your Ancestors, you can create one easily by laying a clean white piece of material on a flat surface, light a white candle, have a clear vessel for purified water and a house plan. The African tradition is to pour libations in honor of our Ancestors.
5. Dream together
Take a moment to reflect on family goals together. Have the family members, including the children, talk about their desires for the year, projects, and aspirations. Determine how each person can be supported by the family in achieving their goals. Set family goals also. Talk about how your family will work together as a team to achieve your goals. This honors the principles Nia (purpose), Umoja (unity), and Ujima (collective work and responsibility).
6. Wear your pride
Kwanzaa is a wonderful occasion to wear African inspired clothing. A simple head wrap or dashiki is a beautiful way to show pride in your culture and heritage.
How do you like to celebrate Kwanzaa?
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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